Fiscal and tax

Our tax system

Introduction

The ideal tax system is fair, transparent, simple and should tax social and environmental “bads” and encourage “goods”. This is far from the case, as things are now, here in Jersey.

Our taxation system needs to be progressive. We need to ensure that those on lower incomes have adequate incomes (unlike now, when the work by Loughborough University into what is an adequate income in Jersey was put in the bin, because it cost too much!)

Social justice is absolutely essential at a time of ever-rising prices in food and indeed everything.  It is also essential, because we will all need to pull together in the times ahead, and gross inequality and the feeling that it is “not fair” work against this solidarity that we will so badly need as we build up our communities to tackle peak oil and climate change and face global economic uncertainty.

Policies

Scrap GST.     It is hated, and seen as unnecessary and regressive

Introduce carbon levy     to fund the carbon savings scheme. Note that this makes here-a-bit and there-a-bit taxes on gas guzzlers, patio heaters, you name it, completely unnecessary. A carbon levy’s administrative  costs would be close to zero, and it taxes exactly what we need to discourage: the use of carbon. The levy and the resulting investment in good public transport and home insulation will redistribute money from high-carbon users to low-carbon users.

“land lottery tax”     This would put an end to the absurd and potentially corrupt situation that as soon as a plot of land is rezoned for housing the owner pockets a vast increase in value at the expense of the new homeowner (for a sharp critique of this scandal see here

capital gains tax on the reselling of homes      We need to look urgently at a capital gains tax, so that windfall profits going to home-owners for no effort of their own and due to gross mismanagement of the economy, are recycled into the housing market. I am sure all fair-minded homeowners would agree that seeing the value of their house increase 40% in 2 years makes them feel uneasy.

review our income tax system to ensure progressiveness    Consumption will fall across the board as peak oil and the global economic slowdown really bite. At such times we need to pull together as a society. Issues of justice become even more important to ensure social cohesion and the maintenance of trust. See here, the point of the argument is at paragraph 10. A tax system which is seen to be fair by everyone. is not a luxury any more, it is a necessity.

launch a proper debate on public spending   Taxation funds public spending and deliberate propaganda has made it well-nigh impossible to have the rational debate about public spending which we badly need. See here.

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